by Janet Ashforth
Posted on April 19, 2020 at 1:05 PM
Image credit Alyson McPhee
If you’re like most people, you may be going a bit stir crazy while you’re on lockdown. If so, it’s a fantastic time for you to get reacquainted with cooking. Maybe you were too busy to cook before the pandemic hit, and there were a plethora of restaurants available to do it for you. Right now–not so much.
The good news is, there are remarkable benefits when you eat home-cooked meals. And some of them may be entirely unexpected.
So why should you cook more? You probably already know that it’s healthier, less expensive, and tastier to cook your food. But if that’s not enough to motivate you, here are some compelling reasons that may inspire you to cook while you’re stuck home.
The food industry spends billions of dollars on advertising to convince you to outsource your meal preparation to them. And they employ the world’s top scientific talent to test and research precisely how to engineer their products so that they create a state of euphoria in your brain. That way, once you’ve tried their products, you can’t stop yourself from wanting, buying, and eating more.
When you cook, you’re a rebel. You send a message to the food industry that you haven’t been brainwashed by the food industry’s advertising or hooked by pre-packaged foods. You choose free-will and refuse to be emotionally and mentally manipulated. And you’re electing to eat fresh, wholesome foods that nourish your body and brain instead of causing a whole host of health issues.
If you’ve ever gone camping and prepared a long, slow meal over a campfire, you’ve felt how it taps into a long-forgotten primal part of yourself. As you sit around the fire, a small, internal voice says, “I know this.” It satisfies your survival instincts and reaffirms your ability to be self-reliant.
Nothing is stopping you from cooking just about anything over an open flame at home. If you have kids, it will alleviate their boredom, and they’ll love you for it. Plus, they’ll learn a valuable skill that will serve them for life.
Open flame cooking is one way to stir those primal feelings, but if you’re wary, those same feelings can arise in the kitchen. Make cooking, either indoors or out, an activity that brings you and your family together. Or, if you live alone, make it a way to love yourself.
And cooking is sexy since it uses all your senses. You get to taste the different flavors as you blend ingredients. All the elements you use to prepare a meal offer you a unique textural experience. The variety of shades of green, yellow, red, and orange are a feast for your eyes.
You’ll hear the sizzling butter or olive oil heating up in the skillet. And the aroma of the herbs and spices wafts into your olfactory senses. If you share these beautiful, sensory pleasures with a partner, it’s like foreplay.
Food industry scientists spend countless hours and millions of dollars researching and testing the exact mouthfeel, crunch, fat, sugar, and salt combination to induce hedonic hyperphagia. Hedonic hyperphagia is eating without hunger and often to excess.
And that’s not to say that the food tastes better than freshly prepared food. Big food has hacked your biology. It’s the dopamine that your brain releases in reaction to the perfectly blended flavors that convinces you to keep buying and eating their products.
Home-cooked food is delicious, but it hasn’t been scientifically engineered to encourage over-indulging. You’ll be satisfied when you’re full. And if you’ve been struggling to lose weight, cooking may be the solution.
When you take simple ingredients and combine them into a delicious meal, there’s something powerfully heroic about it. If you feed someone you care for a meal that you prepared from scratch; you’ll be surprised at their delight and gratitude. And the skills you learn could someday save the life of you and your family.
If you rarely cook, you may feel overwhelmed if you try to make all your meals. So start slow. Choose one meal to prepare each day and then add on meals as you get more comfortable. Recipes and methods abound on the internet. There are even videos to walk you through it.
Learn to love cooking again while you have the time. Put on some music, have a glass of wine, and enjoy the process.
Also, treat yourself to beautiful items for your kitchen. You may not be able to shop right now, but there’s one company that will send gorgeous, handcrafted items from local artisans from around the globe right to your door. If you like, you can subscribe and get a specially curated box every month.
The company is GlobeIn, a fair-trade subscription-based company that connects artisans around the globe with customers who enjoy high-quality, handcrafted items at reasonable prices.
GlobeIn’s mission is to deliver joy by empowering and connecting remarkable, remote artisans to mindful customers. They provide a platform that allows talented artisans to share their crafts directly with customers like you. And you could probably use a little extra joy right now.
When you subscribe, GlobeIn will send a curated package of handmade crafts to your door every month, and you can personalize your experience by choosing from three uniquely themed boxes.
They have several new kitchen-themed boxes for May including their prep box. It includes:
Then there’s the Crave Box. It includes:
These kitchen-themed boxes from GlobeIn will beautify your kitchen and make cooking more enjoyable. And, their subscription boxes make wonderful gifts.